Reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) with UV detection at 210 nm was used to monitor the formation of the major compounds during the lipase-catalyzed transesterification reaction of sunflower oil with methanol. Individual triacylglycerols, diacylglycerols, monoacylglycerols as well as fatty acids and their corresponding methyl esters were separated using acetonitrile/acetone as a mobile phase and a combined linear gradient-isocratic-step gradient-isocratic elution procedure. Another relatively short method consisting of a linear gradient elution followed by an isocratic elution gave similar results, yet with lower resolution. HPLC/mass spectrometry with an ion trap analyzer and atmospheric pressure chemical ionization source was used for the identification of the individual compounds. Individual calibration curves obtained with UV detection at 210 nm were found to be of use for quantitative analyses of double-bond containing methyl esters and acylglycerols. The use of the RP-HPLC methods in the elucidation of the mechanisms of three immobilized lipases, namely Lipozyme TL IM, Lipozyme RM IM and Novozym 435, in biodiesel production was described. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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